As part of our effort to encourage input from industry folks, we turn the floor over for a minute to Maria Eriksson (left), director of executive education at Hyper Island, a digital media school formed in Sweden in the mid-90s. Here, Eriksson offers a recap of Hyper Island’s recent industry gathering dubbed aptly enough, The Playground, and discusses the need for creative participation.

Last month, Hyper Island debuted The Playground, a new series of industry gatherings designed to bring creative minds and geniuses together. The thinking behind these meetings is to create a collaborative space for like-minded individuals in disparate areas of innovation to share, speak and learn from each other’s experiences on a particular topic. The first  Playground centered on the ‘power of participation.’

Participation is inherent to all agencies and organizations, but has never been more vital in this age of beta, experimentation and social production.  When exploring the concept of ‘participatory beta’— committing small amounts of resources to drive bigger-thought, innovation initiatives — the group agreed that while collaboration and engagement is crucial, it can be impossible to predict the catalysts responsible for turning the idea into a community. And that’s the exciting part.